CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

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Robert Regan
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Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Post by Robert Regan »

Woolrich was essentially a short-form writer. Most of his novels are episodic and can be seen as a series of set-pieces tied together with a frame story. I Married a Dead Man is an exception and probably his best novel. Another exception is Waltz Into Darkness, his longest and heaviest novel which became one of Francois Truffaut's weaker films, even with Jean-Paul Belmondo and Catherine Deneuve. There's nothing really wrong with the story about a mail-oder bride who is not what she appears to be, but the telling of the tale seems to elude Woolrich, Truffaut, and the makers of Original Sin with Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie.

Since movies are our main interest here, I Married a Dead Man has been filmed many times, starting with Mitchell Leisen's No Man of Her Own in 1950, with Barbara Stanwyck, too old for the part, but so good that who cares. Next came a Japanese version in 1960 called Shisha to no kekkon. This got things started, because it was followed two years later by a tv adaptation in Brazil, then in 1983 Nathalie Baye starred in J'ai epouse une ombre, followed in '96 by a comedy version (sic) directed by Richard Benjaminwith Shirley MacLaine as the mother. Most recently a 2001 tv movie called She's No Angel though not crediting Woolrich apparently used many of his plot elements.

For the record, Imdb lists over a hundred movies and tv shows based on Woolrich! And they loved him on radio, too.
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JackFavell
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Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

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No Man of Her Own is sooooooo good. I was really surprised by the film, having never heard much about it, it's just great in every way - from the innocent young Phyllis Thaxter to John Lund, who actually made me like him here after years of hating him. The dead body dump is tense and spare, one of those moments that makes you realize how hard it is to get rid of a big heavy dead thing.
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CineMaven
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Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Post by CineMaven »

I went to Park Slope's Barnes & Noble after my afternoon constitutional around Prospect Park, and they didn't carry Woorlrich's books. What???!!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:

I'll go to the Strand bookstore and hunt for Woolrich there.

Bob, I love how you incorporate all the movies adapted from Woolrich's stories. ( I enjoyed "Original Sin." )
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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Vienna
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Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Post by Vienna »

JackFavell,, glad you like John Lund in NO MAN OF HER OWN. I also like him in A FOREIGN AFFAIR.
I'm lucky enough to have a book of Woolrich short stories. Great titles like REAR WINDOW,THE CORPSE NEXT DOOR,YOU'LL NEVER SEE ME AGAIN.
What a writer.
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JackFavell
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Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

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I actually could never stand him in A Foreign Affair. It took watching him in the other film for me to see his acting talent.
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Robert Regan
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Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Post by Robert Regan »

Theresa, take a look at the valuable links Wendy provided!
RedRiver
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Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Post by RedRiver »

The Woolrich Cravin' Maven!

These books are getting harder to find as time goes on. A least, you're in NYC. You'll have better luck there than in most cities. 20 years ago, we saw Woolrich, Macdonald and Ngaio Marsh all over the place. Now? They're rapidly being forgotten by all but the most devoted. It happens.
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CineMaven
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Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Post by CineMaven »

Cravin' Maven here.

Image

Woolrich-Style.

I see your links Wendy. This is good, thank you! :) I have to delay gratification here b'cuz I really want to read his stories now that I've perused your links; I'll need to hear the characters' voices in my own head - envision the sets via my mind's eye from Woolrich's writing. I did tiptoe gently around those links so I wouldn't spoil anything, and saw my girls Lurene Tuttle and Jeanette Nolan doing radio shows of his stories. Hmmmmmm....nice.

I also watched the clip of "No Man 0f Her 0wn" and smiled when Esther Howard came blowsing out of her room to tell Stanwyck to scram. Stanwyck's crying and pleading put a little lump in my throat, darn it. For Lyle Bettger no less. Sheesh! :x ( Gosh, how many bathrobes does Esther Howard have? ) I'd better re-visit "No Man 0f Her 0wn" quick fast and in a hurry.

Thank you all so much for steeeering me in the right direction. A cold dark bleak scary direction. :D
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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JackFavell
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Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Post by JackFavell »

I totally understand wanting to get the feel for the WRITING and the SOUND of the voices in your own head, Maven. No problems! I just thought the links, especially to radio shows might be interesting for everyone.
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CineMaven
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Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Post by CineMaven »

I hear ya. ( Hey, it ain't all about me? :shock: )



Just kidding!
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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JackFavell
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Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Post by JackFavell »

Well, of course it's all about you! :D

I read The Night I Died last night. Wow, very grisly, and not as much twist as I would have liked, though it was still interesting. So far my least favorite story, although the wife is a real beaut of a character and the imagery is great... just...ugh.
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CineMaven
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Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Post by CineMaven »

That's right up my alley then. :)


Ugh! :shock:
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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JackFavell
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Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Post by JackFavell »

Well... glad to have brought it ugh. I mean up. :D

There is lye involved...
RedRiver
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Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Post by RedRiver »

I have never seen NO MAN OF HER OWN. What is my problem?
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